To complement our workshops and courses the Merton Chamber Business Service is able to give help and guidance on financial support available, whether you are starting up or growing your business. 

Support Available

There are many options available to help you boost your business. See below for more information.

 

  • Exclusive personal introduction to local banks
  • Merton Business Loan Fund-Available to Sole Traders/Partnerships seeking finance over £25,000 and any Limited Companies only
  • Micro Business Loan Fund
  • Start Up Loan Fund (Government scheme)
  • Shop Front Grants
  • Local Business Rates Relief
  • Local Business Rates Discount Scheme
  • General scheme

Exclusive personal introduction to local banks

We have on-going relationships with the major retail banks in the area, and most are active members of Merton Chamber.  When your business plan is ‘finance ready’ we can introduce you to the right person at the bank of your choice

Merton Business Loan Fund-Available to Sole Traders/Partnerships seeking finance over £25,000 and any Limited Companies only

Merton Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with Newable (formally GLE oneLondon (GLE) ) to help growing business access the Merton Business Loan Fund (MBLF). Merton Chamber of Commerce will provide their expert business support services to help develop and package your application for a business loan.  Perhaps you have been turned down by a bank because of credit scoring or their lending policy?

Newable are one of the UK’s leading non-bank finance providers will be the source of the funding to successful applicants who present a viable and sustainable business plan. This loan fund provides finance to eligible established businesses in the London Borough of Merton to support their growth ambitions and create or protect jobs.

Key features: Unsecured* business loans between £10,000 and £50,000, repayments monthly by Direct Debit, fixed interest rate (rates between 12% to 16% per annum depending on business risk**), arrangement Fee – a fee equivalent to 2% of the loan value will be charged.  There are no early repayment fees (you can pay the loan back at any time without any penalties.  No automated credit scoring – each application is assessed on its own merits. To qualify, you need to be in, relocating, or expanding in the London Borough of Merton, have been trading for at least 12 months, are a sole trader or partnership seeking more than £25,000 or are a limited company.

Contact us to speak to an adviser about this service

*Directors’ guarantees are required for Limited Companies. A security assessment will take place to determine the eligibility for an unsecured loan supported by the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG)

** Newable operate the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme which, if applied, will inherit an additional 2% premium charge

Micro Business Loan Fund

The Micro Finance Loan Fund provides small unsecured loans of between £500 and £10,000 at competitive rates together with follow up advice and mentoring. They are able to help people start up small businesses or become self-employed – as well as help established micro businesses grow and / or survive an adverse economic climate.  The Micro Finance Loan Fund is operated by the Fredericks Foundation, and you can access it through Merton Chamber of Commerce.  The Fredericks Foundation have been providing micro-loan finance since 2001 and target Individuals and existing businesses who have been turned down by traditional lenders (maybe because of a poor credit history) but have a viable business plan.  Fredericks offer a special loan fund for Merton residents and businesses that is funded by Merton Council and other loan funds are available in selected London boroughs.

Start Up Loan Fund (Government scheme)

A Start Up Loan is a government-backed personal loan available to individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK.
With a fixed interest rate of just 6% per annum and the ability to borrow between £500 and £25,000, Start Up Loans offer an affordable source of finance to help new and early stage business owners bring their plans to life.
In addition to finance, all Start Up Loan recipients are offered up to 12 months of mentoring support and access to a range of special business offers”  for further information click here.

Shop Front Grants

London Borough of Merton have a small grants budget available to eligible businesses to improve shop fronts where they are likely to have significant improvement on the appearance, image and footfall of Town Centres, High Street and local shops and/or bring vacant shops back to use by refurbishing / locating a new business from the premises.

You need to apply to Merton Council for the Grant and to find out whether you are eligible and for further details about the scheme and its requirements, download the Application Form  and Guidance Note

Local Business Rates Relief

Business rates are taxes to help pay for local services. They are charged on non-domestic properties such as shops, factories and offices. Merton Council collect business rates on behalf of central government, who share out the money to all local authorities depending on their population.

To help small businesses there are two main ways to help reduce business rate bills – using a lower multiplier to calculate the bill and applying a discount to the bill depending on the rateable value. This help is called small business rate relief (SBRR) and you need to apply to receive this.

Rateable value up to £6000 – no rates payable

Rateable value between £6001 & £12,000 – tapered relief between 100% and 0%

Rateable value between £12,001 & £25,499 – Small Business Rate multiplier applies

Eligibility for SBRR is as detailed below, however, for additional help your rateable value must be £12,000 or below.

Eligible ratepayers will receive relief at 100 per cent on properties with rateable values of not more than £6 000 with a tapered relief of between 100 per cent and 0 per cent for properties with rateable values between £6001 and £12,000.

The changes are summarised below with effect from 31 March 2017:

Rateable value (RV) Max SBRR Min SBRR Sliding scale
up to £6000 100% 100% n/a
£6001 to £12,000 100% 0%  

100% minus 2% for every £120 of RV above £6000

 

How to Apply

You need only apply once for SBRR. Providing certain defined circumstances do not change you will not be required to make a further application. See Reporting changes for more information. The relief can be granted from the date the property enters the Rating List anytime throughout the year, you can apply for the relief immediately and do not have to wait until the next financial year to apply.

Local Business Rates Discount Scheme

Business rates retention has given Merton Council the discretion to introduce local discounts for business rates for the first time. This new relief can be used on individual cases or as part of a wider strategy to enhance or encourage business to occupy empty premises in Merton. The aim of the local discount scheme is to:

Support the attraction of new businesses (and the associated investment and jobs) into the borough, particularly into the East and other part of the borough undergoing regeneration

Help reduce the number of empty premises and thereby reverse the physical and economic decline of areas associated with high levels of vacant premises

Help increase Council income generated from business rate in the medium and long term.

General scheme

The scheme is aimed at small to medium businesses with a rateable value of £6,500 or above who occupy or re-locate within the borough or for existing businesses expanding within the borough. The discount will run for a fixed period within the financial year and can be awarded for up to two years but any discount in year two can be no more than 50% of the discount awarded in year one.

A business can apply at any time but can only benefit from the discount up until the end of financial year and the level of discount awarded can be between 20% and 100% of the rates for a given period. The scheme will initially target Mitcham, Morden and Colliers Wood areas – focusing on:

  •     Mitcham town centre
  •     Willow Lane Industrial Estate (Mitcham)
  •     Colliers Wood High Street
  •     Merton High Street
  •     South Wimbledon Industrial Estate

To download an application for click here

To check your eligibility and full details of the Council’s scheme on their website click here

 

 

Want to find out more about financial support for your business?

In the first instance, call us on 0208 944 5501 or email
Kevan@mertonchamber.co.uk

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